The global fight against plastic waste gets a new and efficient weapon with groundbreaking technology from MAKEEN Energy

MAKEEN Energy is now in the initial phases of building its first industrial Plastcon facility, which will convert problematic plastic waste into useful resources. Engineers, architects and the rest of the project team are hard at work and initial preparations on site in Denmark has begun. When the facility is up and running in mid-2022, it will handle about 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year, saving the planet from 32,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

An important first step has been taken. MAKEEN Energy has begun construction of its groundbreaking Plastcon facility at the new harbor area in Randers, Denmark, close to the highway and with easy access from the seaside. The facility is expected to be fully operational next summer, in July 2022.

Problematic plastic waste will be turned into useful resources

The Plastcon facility, which is modular in its construction, can handle plastic waste from both households and industries. The facility in Randers will consist of 2 modules and will handle all types of plastic waste – one of the groundbreaking aspects of the invention is its capability to do so without priorly sorting or cleaning the plastic waste.

Starting mid-2022, the facility will convert about 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste into useful resources like pyrolysis oil and synthetic gases every year. The pyrolysis oil can be used in the production of new plastic materials or as a more sustainable fuel alternative for the maritime industry, whereas the gases can be used to generate heat or electricity.

Over the last 4 years, MAKEEN Energy has developed and tested the technology in Plastcon, leveraging competences and experiences from 70 years in the global gas industry. Essential to Plastcon is the pyrolysis process, in which the plastic waste is exposed to high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment. Mathias Ege Dahl Jensen, Head of Plastcon, explains:

”The pyrolysis process in Plastcon breaks with previous challenges in the field. Until now it has been necessary to clean and sort plastic materials before recycling is possible, but Plastcon can thermally recycle all types of plastic waste without the same complicated pre-treatment requirements. Our technology thus sets a whole new standard and increases the recycling rate for plastic waste significantly. To be frank, we have huge expectations for our technology. During the last two years we’ve tested heaps of different operational scenarios on our fully functional test facility.”

Besides constructing the facility, MAKEEN Energy has also signed a contract to operate and maintain it for the first 5 years. With facility management already being a key part of MAKEEN Energy’s competences, the contract will ensure an output of the highest possible quality.

A greener solution with considerable CO2 savings

By sending difficult plastic waste through the Plastcon facility, you get useful and sustainable resources – and on top of that considerable CO2 saving.

Today, Danish plastic waste is mainly sent to incineration plants and burned together with other types of waste. However, by thermally recycling plastic waste in the new Plastcon facility, MAKEEN Energy will prevent approximately 32,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, which would otherwise be emitted through the incineration.

Further, the end products generated by Plastcon may substitute polluting fuel like Marine Gasoil (MGO), which further increases the potential CO2-reductions of the technology. This way, Plastcon has the potential to play an active role in the sustainable transformation of several industries.

The Plastcon facility will use electricity for heating – it thus meets the desire to transform the heavy industry in Denmark to use electricity from sustainable sources like wind or solar power.

It is particularly interesting to compare the energy that Plastcon uses with what it generates. Through the processes in the system, the plastic waste is converted into resources with 18 times more energy than what is used in electricity to do so – an extremely energy positive, responsible and sustainable solution to the continuously growing plastic waste problem.

This initial facility brings several advantages to the local community in Denmark as well. It will help to overcome a regional problem of plastic waste that cannot be recycled mechanically and is otherwise incinerated – which has traditionally been the only option – and it will create new jobs for, among others, engineers and facility managers.

Huge export potential

The design of Plastcon is modular, which means that it’s easily scalable. Thanks to this design, MAKEEN Energy will be able to deliver both very large solutions in the fight against plastic waste, but also rather small and local ones, e.g. for regional waste treatment in countries around the world where plastic waste is burned or left untreated in the nature at the moment.

Anders Bjorn, COO of Plastcon, explains:

“Around the world there’s countries where effective collection and treatment of plastic waste is non-existent, resulting in the plastic ending up in the ocean, nature or, best case, in a landfill. Plastcon has the potential to create incitement to collect all types of plastic waste, which can now be transformed to valuable new resources. With our modular and scalable design, functioning a bit like Lego bricks, we see a huge potential in helping in the global fight against plastic waste and at the same time lower the CO2-emission in the heavy industries.”